Paris-based designer Brice Chaplet, better known as Mr Xerty to his fans, started out studying geography, which he describes as “not a big love affair”. It was graffiti and poster design for electro rave parties that gave rise to his passion for computer-based design.
Big on surreal and dystopian visions – he cites Aldous Huxley, George Orwell, Tim Burton, Salvador Dali and René Magritte as influences – he has worked for Sony and the French magazine Science & Vie, among others.
He considers most of his work to be mixed media, which he calls “modern collage”, involving both Photoshop and Illustrator-derived vector images. “I feel free with this creative process because I’m not a perfect drawer,” he explains. “With collage or mixed media I can express what I want by playing with a picture, adding colour vector shapes or paper textures to add an old-fashioned touch.”
Brice has a very open-ended approach to working in Photoshop. “I’m not a purist,” he declares. “The most important thing for me is to have a good, well-executed and balanced composition. Technique is important in order to be at ease with the types of client demands you can receive.”
He also advises taking time over mixing textures and colours so that your final result doesn’t look like “a basic Photoshop exercise”.
All his work starts out in a small book, where he keeps notes and sketches. Thereafter, he consults stock libraries or his personal collection of photographs for images.
“There are no rules in particular,” he says. “Feel free and crazy! But mainly, you have to choose the right photos.”